In This Issue: February 2012

Library Legislation • The Heart of the Community • Children's Book Fest • Library System Grants • Teen Tech Week • Digital Services Upgrades • eBook Lending • Technology • Training • LinksReflect

Current Events

- February 23 Merlin Consortium Meeting (online)
- February 29 NWLS WorkshopMaintaining a Joomla Library Website (NWLS) 
- Children's Book Fest (Rhinelander)
  • March 6 from  4:00p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • March 7 from 8:30 a.m. to noon
- March 17 NWLS Board of Trustees Meeting  (NWLS)
- March 21 Library Directors Meeting (Online)

Current News

Library Legislation

"Libraries at the heart of the community," was the theme of this year's Library Legislative Day which provided an opportunity for library advocates to promote awareness of the issues important to the library community. Leading issues emphasized funding for libraries, and included current legislation related to affordable broadband and Internet services for Wisconsin education and library communities, and state and federal education legislation support for school libraries.


Librarians are working closely with WiscNet and the University of Wisconsin on a legislative solution that allows the WiscNet board, staff, partners and all its members to continue to advance and innovate. The Senate Bill 375/Assembly Bill 473 was introduced to delay (for one year) the new restrictions on the UW System in selling, providing telecommunications services, and participating in any telecommunications cooperative or consortium, including connection to regional and national high-capacity broadband networks. The restrictions are intended to ensure WiscNet is not competing with private broadband communications networks. The extension made it through the Senate committee with a 6-1 vote but could face challenges in the Assembly and with the Governor.

The non-profit WiscNet cooperative is fully funded by its 465 partner education and library members to promote collaboration, efficiency and quality telecommunications at an affordable price. Members include most of Wisconsin's colleges, universities, K12 school districts, all public library systems, the State of Wisconsin, many local and municipal governments, hospitals and several nonprofit affiliated organizations. In spite of about $90 million annually in taxpayer subsidies for private providers to provide cost-effective service in rural areas, Internet services through WiscNet are a fraction of the cost.

WiscNet has been recently selected to participate in the national U.S. UCAN project to facilitate advanced and innovative broadband applications to help community anchor institutions, including public libraries, schools, community colleges, research parks, public safety and health care institutions have access to advanced broadband capabilities.

As a member of the Internet2 network consortium for global researchers, the University of Wisconsin can combine services on a national scale. This month WiscNet was selected for a pilot eText accessibility trial for students and faculty. The new model for digital course materials reduces costs to students while efficiently compensating authors and publishers.

A WiscNet led Wisconsin broadband project was awarded a Top Rural Development Award in 2011 from Wisconsin Rural Partners, Inc. for its positive impact on rural Wisconsin communities. The project connects 182 community anchor institutions (libraries, educations, government and health care) with a broadband network also available to service area homes and businesses.

School Library Funding

Reductions and eliminations of school library programs are creating an 'access gap' between schools in wealthy and poor communities and affect public libraries (whose budgets are also being cut) now tasked with serving a school curriculum and teaching remedial information literacy skills. The Wisconsin legislature has considered bills proposing diverting funds from the Common School Fund which many school districts rely on as their sole funding source for information resources. The fund provides about 1/2 of one book per child per year.

Students in America perform better in schools with solid school library programs. Advocates have been uging U.S. Senators from Wisconsin to include authorization for an effective school library program provision in the The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (EASA), nationwide legislation addressing the needs and inequities in school library programs. Including a school library program provision in the Senate's ESEA now will position school libraries to be included when the ESEA bill is finally reauthorized, likely in the next Congress in 2013, and will determine K-12 federal education policy for years to come.

The Strengthening Kids' Interest in Learning and Libraries Act (SKILLs Act), an ammendment to the ESEA bill, includes provisions that support effective school library programs with funding, materials, qualified staff, and digital literacy resources.

The Heart of the Community

A visit to the local library is one of the best ways to get a child interested in learning and excited about reading. Libraries provide communities with a full range of professional assistance, programs, collections, and technologies to stimulate young imaginations and foster engagement with reading and literacy programs, even before a child enrolls in preschool. It's a vital starting point for intellectual and social inspiration for all generations.

Libraries are an important hub for downtown activities. Libraries nationwide with very modest resources are introducing children to the joys of reading through early literacy resources, story time events, after school support, summer reading programs, and information literacy training. Libraries that sport popular, elaborately designed children's spaces were recently highlighted in a showcase of America's Best Places to Live.

Libraries provide a positive experience for all ages, and demonstrate the value a local authority places on its community. With the rise of technology and ebooks, library services are rapidly changing and remain relevant to the community at large currently facing challenges of a digital society, including an increased digital divide and a weakening of local community identity. The public library mission serves to reinforce the quality of life any community can take pride in supporting.

Children's Book Fest

The 2012 Children's Book Fest in Rhinelander will feature a presentation by the Cooperative Children's Book Center on the best new books and the current trends in children's literature. Browse through the CCBC Book Exhibit and connect with other professionals who share a passion for outstanding literature for youth. The presentation will be held at the Congregational church in the evening on March 6 from 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., and in the morning on March 7 from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Library System Grants

NWLS has been awarded five grants for 2012. The noncompetitive grants contribute funding for delivery services, collection development resources for the WPLC Digital Download Catalog, and library databases. The competitive grants will fund the installation of hearing loops in libraries serving hearing impaired patrons, and an orientation program for new Wisconsin public library directors.

The LSTA grants are supported through the Library Services and Technology Act, a federal grant program with funds distributed to each state by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The funding supports statewide initiatives, services and grant programs to help libraries and museums meet community needs, use technology to develop new service models and reach underserved populations. The President's proposal maintains the current funding level for fiscal year 2013. The IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums and is committed to connecting people to information and ideas through strong libraries and museums.

IMLS is currently accepting applications in the Native American Library Services: Enhancement Grants program, with a deadline of May 1. To learn more about the funding opportunities, IMLS webinars are scheduled for February 28 and March 6 at 5pm.

Teen Tech Week

The first week in March is Teen Tech Week sponsored by YALSA as a national initiative to help guide teen digital competency and ethical use of technologies. YALSA has provided a customizable toolkit for Teen Tech Week to promote your library as a trusted resource for accessing information and digital literacy skills. The promotional toolkit includes press releases, letters to the editor, graphics, and public service announcements.

Ideas for Teen Tech week include programs involving library databases, gaming, music, e-social issues, tech oriented book or movie discussions, teen film-makers, publishing, YouTube, ebooks, Pinterest, cool apps, and a teen help desk to help patrons use technology devices such as ipods, ipads, cameras, cell phones, ereaders, etc. For more easy ways to encourage teens to celebrate Teen Tech week visit YALSA.

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Digital Services Upgrades

The WPLC Digital Download Center has upgraded the support section to make it easier to assist patrons to download ebooks, audiobooks, music, and video on different devices and platforms. To access the new support section, click on the "help" link at the top of the page. Screenshots, software download links, and links to hundreds of new articles contribute to a comprehensive, searchable, and user-friendly resource of instructions that can be printed, emailed, or shared with patrons through the "share this page" link.

Additional Local Copies

Public libraries interested in making additional copies of titles in the Digital Download Center catalog available to only their patrons can take advantage of the OverDrive Advantage 2.0 program. OverDrive Advantage uses already established WPLC loan periods and lending rules. Libraries use Advantage 2.0 to:
• Lower patrons' wait time
• Increase turnover
• Customize a collection for their community
• Continue access to the shared collection

Purchasing added titles does not violate the 'same services' requirement in Chapter 43 of the state statutes. This means that librarians who purchase only additional copies of titles already in the WPLC collection are not in violation of state statutory requirements that public libraries provide service to all residents of the system service area on an equal basis with residents of the community that funds the library. Purchase of new titles not already in the WPLC collection would be a violation, however.

Returning eBooks Early

Digital services through WPLC is growing in popularity and popular ebooks are flying off the virtual shelves with long hold lists and waiting times. Libraries are doing their best to keep up with demand, and patrons can help by returning ebooks early when they are finished before the due date. Returning ebooks instantly frees it up for the next user and helps people stay under their checkout limit.

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eBook Lending

Libraries have traditionally served as economic engines for the book industry and are contributing to the digital shift in sales as collections that were traditionally tailored to local cardholders become integrated into large online services offering the latest digital conveniences. Interactive digital innovation is transforming every aspect of the publishing business and redefining the market as digital formats and licensing solutions evolve with the new technology.

Libraries face many ebook lending challenges such as consortia-access pricing, access to multiple copies for book groups, and restrictions. The current publishing paradigm restricts library cardholders with publisher terms of access, tools, and platforms. Publishers may also place restrictions on how many times a book can be downloaded or when new books become available. Some publishers don't lend ebooks at all and are holding out for licensing models such as a digital media download kiosk in the library that would be more in line with the lending of books.

Recent negotiations involving American Library Association and publisher representatives have reaffirmed a mutual commitment to connect authors and readers, to meet the growing demands of the digital world, and to work towards a library model for lending ebooks that fosters a robust culture of literacy.


HackasaurusHackasaurus open educational tools for teaching webmaking make it easy for youth to develop skills to remix, create and share on the web with attitudes and ethics that help them thrive in a remixable digital world. In partnership with libraries, learning centers and youth media centers, Hackasaurus makes hacking and digital literacy accessible, social and fun. Throwing a Hack Jam at your library gives teens the space and resources to understand and experiment with web structures. For more information visit the Hackasaurus Wiki FAQs.


Twitter for Job Seekers - February 23 WebJunction shares tips for helping your job-seeking patrons use one of the best online tools for networking and job search, whether browsing job postings or connecting with people in a particular field.

The Legislative Process and You: How it Works and How to Make a Difference - Library advocates have opportunities to make a difference! Advocacy trainer Stephanie Vance, shares valuable strategies for communicating with your elected officials. Sign up today for limited space. Date: February 27, 5-6pm.

Ask the Advocate: Find what you need to make the case - A free webinar on using the legislative process to make a difference will be held at 1pm CST Wednesday, February 29 offering attendees the opportunity to ask ALA advocacy representatives questions and to discover resources available to help make the case for libraries.

Q&A: Get the Answers to Your BadgerLink Questions - The last in the Winter series of BadgerLunch Webinars, Thursday March 1 at noon and open to the public.


CCBC Recommended Youth Literature - CCBC Shorts offer a tour of recommended literature for youth in short presentations scheduled throughout the year that feature a variety of topics relevant to youth literacy including storytime selections, Wisconsin titles, award winners, holiday books, and selections for reluctant readers.

Library Journal Best Sellers - Lists include fiction and nonfiction and romance (book and ebook) compiled from data on books borrowed and requested at public libraries throughout the U.S.

Outstanding Softcover Releases - NPR displays new fiction and nonfiction releases in paperback with links to news and reviews.

In Celebration of Ojibwe Life - An interview with Ojibwe writer David Treuer  highlights the beauty of reservation life from his book Rez Life: An Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life.


"Let books be your dining table, and you shall be full of delights. Let them be your mattress and you shall sleep restful nights."
- From Ethicon St. Ephrem the Syrian (303-373)


For subscription services or to submit an article for streams contact Marsha at NWLS: 682-2365 ext. 18 or email Marsha Sorensen

NWLS: 3200 E. Lake Shore Dr. • Ashland, WI 54806 
Phone: (715) 682-2365 • Web:
Serving libraries in Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Sawyer, Vilas and Washburn Counties.